Bobcat sightings on the rise in Collin County

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on January 20, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 21 at 7:07 PM

ALLEN - Photos of bobcats taken over a back porch at an Allen home highlight fears as sightings in Collin County appear to be increasing.

Amy Locurto and her family have seen bobcats behind their house for the 10 years they have lived in Allen. But, on Wednesday, the bobcats came closer than ever before. Locurto saw an entire family of bobcats right at her back door.

“He literally jumped from the ground to the top of that fence and caught a bird," she said of the sighting.

Locurto's backyard is filled with wildlife, but she said she's never seen bobcats so close to her house, and definitely not in a pack of four. That day, she grabbed her camera and started snapping.

“When you see that many together as a pack that's when I get concerned," she said. "And it's mating season, so there's going to be more soon. I'm afraid they're going to come back to my house and have their babies."

The Allen mother has two children and so does her neighbor, Naomi Calle. Both of them are concerned for their children and pets.

“We’re worried about our children being able to play in the back yard," Calle said. "They can't really do that any more safely without us being out there and making sure there's no wildlife."

Locurto called animal control after discovering the bobcats. But, when an officer arrived, the big cats were gone.

“I want my children to walk in the backyard and not have to worry about four bobcats," she said.

Allen police, who oversee animal control, said their city has a healthy bobcat population. But, there's little animal control can do because their priority is dealing with domesticated animals. The city loans out traps, but their officers don't do the trapping.

Bobcat attacks on humans are very rare. 

There are 12 different subspecies of bobcats. The ones found in Texas are called Mearns. Fully grown, they stand close to three feet tall and weigh 20 to 30 pounds on average. They generally are more active in the middle of the night and right before dawn. They prey on small animals like rabbits, squirrels, fish and insects.

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